Museum Open

The New-York Historical Society Museum will be open on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. For details, please visit our calendar.

Woodcarving (owl)

Object Number: 
INV.7962
Date: 
ca. 1890-1920
Medium: 
Wood, paint
Dimensions: 
Overall: 4 x 1 5/8 x 1 5/8 in. ( 10.2 x 4.1 x 4.1 cm )
Marks: 
incised on base: "AWM"
Description: 
Carved wooden owl on low, roughly square base; painted brown with spots of yellow.
Gallery Label: 
This woodcarving is tentatively attributed to Aaron Mountz, a Pennsylvania folk carver who worked in the tradition of Wilhelm Schimmel. Mountz probably produced less than fifty works, of which perhaps only a dozen or so survive. He typically left his carvings unpainted. However, some, it seems, were painted later by subsequent owners.
Bibliography: 
Black, Mary C., "Make believe and make do: American children's toys," Antiques, December 1962, pp. 620-623. Christensen, Erwin O., The Index of American Design. New York, Macmillan, 1950, pp. 135-137. Flower, Milton E., "Aaron Mountz, Primitive Woodcarver," Antiques, June 1960, pp. 586-587. Flower, Milton E., "Wilhelm Schimmel and Aaron Mountz wood carvers," [exhibition catalog], Williamsburg, Va. : Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection, 1965. Lichten, Frances. Folk Art of Rural Pennsylvania. New York, C. Scribner's sons; London, C. Scribner's sons, ltd., 1946. p. 115.
Credit Line: 
Purchased from Elie Nadelman
Provenance: 
The Folk Art Collection of Elie Nadelman
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group